Today I learned I was the darling new topic of conversation of a talk radio host, and I thought well if they are going to talk about this blog, maybe they can talk about this blog wanting folks to help our farmers at Thornbury Farm, right? Maybe they can ask their listeners in Chester County and elsewhere to help Thornbury Farm or one can only hope, right? The media could really help these folks right now by talking this up, right?
Thornbury Farm is located on Route 926 and S. New Street on Thornbury Rd in West Chester. (you know a stone’s throw from where Toll Brothers wants to destroy Crebilly Farm?)
After the recent snow/ice/wind event, Thornbury Farm experienced some awful damage from the weather. Their greenhouse/hoophouse collapsed because of the snow. I have friends who own a very large nursery concern in Massachusetts and I am familiar with what they have to do during the winter to keep snow from collapsing their greenhouses. Sometimes the timing is off and you do not get to things in time. The result is the photo you see above and this is really expensive to rectify.
Friends of Thornbury Farm and the Spackman family have put up a GoFundMe page to help our neighbor farmers at Thornbury defray the costs, the seriously steep costs of correcting what Mother Nature has done here.
Please, they are an over 300 year old still working farm. They are super nice people who do a lot for the community. The weight of the snow was too much for the poor greenhouse. The snow has caused about $8,000 in damages and they have crops to be planted in the next three weeks, their heirloom tomatoes. This is literally live or die time.
Some folks have rolled up on Thornbury Farm’s Facebook Page and been downright mean to these people about the greenhouse. It is a high tunnel greenhouse made by Farm Tek designed for this area’s snow load. This was an unusually heavy snow load. These are structures actually used in Alaska. It just did not hold. The weight was too great.
So all of you people out there near and far who love organic produce and locally produced produce? Please help these farmers save their farm and get a replacement greenhouse in time to get their crops started at the right time. They depend on these crops to keep the farm going.
In Chester County our farmers support us every day with their goods and services. Please help these farmers with a small donation – every little bit helps. Please pay it forward.
If you prefer to call them and/or send a check or money order:
West Chester, PA 19382
Thornbury Farm was founded in 1709 with a stone house. The “main house” is the first quarried home in Pennsylvania and was built using the property’s own quarry. On this location, there stood a log cabin that was built in the 1600’s. The original owner was a blacksmith who used the abundant limestone to make flux in an old lime kilm.
The house was added to approximately every 80 years. The serpentine adition with its main stair case was used as the first public library in Chester County. In the mid 1800’s, a kitchen was added with a beehive oven. The oven doors still exist and this room eventually became a dining room. Finally, a modern kitchen was added in the 1940’s.
Over the years, other buildings were added including a large stone spring house, a bank barn in 1740 and another farm house in 1812. The 1812 house and the main house were later used as stops on the Underground Railroad.
The Farm is the site of the final troop engagement of the Battle of Brandywine, the largest land battle of the American Revolution. It was during this battle that our flag was displayed and fired upon by the British for the first time. All of the generals were visible to each other and each side suffered heavy losses and casualties.
During the battle, soldiers from the Continental Army had run up the farm’s stream to avoid a crushing pincer movement by the German Hessian soldiers. Instead, the Americans became trapped between the Hessians on South New Street and the English on the other side of the stream. So many Americans were shot and bayonneted, it was said the blood flowed over two miles to the Brandywine.